by Fang Peng, Zumin Xu, Jin Wang, Yuanyuan Chen, Qiang Li, Yufang Zuo, Jing Chen, Xiao Hu, Qichao Zhou, Yan Wang, Honglian Ma, Yong Bao, Ming Chen
Hypoxic tumor cells can reduce the efficacy of radiation. Antiangiogenic therapy may transiently “normalize” the tumor vasculature to make it more efficient for oxygen delivery. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the recombinant human endostatin (endostar) can create a “vascular normalization window” to alleviate hypoxia and enhance the inhibitory effects of radiation therapy in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in mice. Methodology/Principal Findings
Transient changes in morphology of tumor vasculature and hypoxic tumor cell fraction in response to endostar were detected in mice bearing CNE-2 and 5–8F human NPC xenografts. Various treatment schedules were tested to assess the influence of endostar on the effect of radiation therapy. Several important factors relevant to the angiogenesis were identified through immunohistochemical staining. During endostar treatment, tumor vascularity decreased, while the basement membrane and pericyte coverage associated with endothelial cells increased, which supported the idea of vessel normalization. Hypoxic tumor cell fraction also decreased after the treatment. The transient modulation of tumor physiology caused by endostar improved the effect of radiation treatment compared with other treatment schedules. The expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, and MMP-14 decreased, while the level of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) increased. Conclusions
Endostar normalized tumor vasculature, which alleviated hypoxia and significantly sensitized the function of radiation in anti-tumor in human NPC. The results provide an important experimental basis for combining endostar with radiation therapy in human NPC.